Sunday, May 10, 2009

Rites of Passage


This is one of those times of the year when we celebrate certain rites of passages. Many young people are completing their work at various institutions of learning and moving on to the next phase of their lives. I was reflecting on this over the weekend and found it a very encouraging thing. Graduation (or commencement) recognizes not only achievement but that fact that there is always a next level to attain. We are continually passing from one stage of life and work to another.

For my five year old granddaughter, Erin, the passage is completing WEE school and registering for kindergarten on the same day. She knows her alphabet, has learned how to get along with others, and is ready to conquer elementary school.

My grandson, Bryan, completed a bachelor’s degree at Middle Tennessee State University. He really did not want to go through the commencement thing but he did it for the family. His next step is graduate school; not a bad choice in this economy!

If my grandson, Benjamin, had lived he would have completed high school this year. He left us too soon, before he could even start kindergarten, but he had a loving family and good friends. He, too, moved on to the next level.

My friend, Mary Beth Duke, will receive her master of divinity degree from Central Baptist Theological Seminary next weekend. A working mother and wife, Beth is the first student to complete her degree at the Murfreesboro center of the seminary. I know that God has something special for her in ministry.

So it is the time of year to celebrate what has gone before, to treasure it, but not to dwell there. It is time to move to the next level.

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